One of biggest blues festivals in the UK and Ireland, the Armagh 7 Hills Blues Fest, returns on Thursday, August 6 for what promises to be another record-breaking four-day run of world class musical entertainment and fun events for all the family.
After last year’s record attendance and sell-out shows, this year’s busy programme will be even bigger, and includes planned performances by more than 50 acts which will take over a multitude of stages dotted across town in many of Armagh’s famous venues, restaurants and bars.
Celebrating 40 years of entertaining listeners in Northern Ireland, BBC Radio Ulster will also be broadcasting live from several of the venues located across the city throughout the four-day iconic event, sharing the amazing musical talent with listeners throughout the region and the world.
From big ticket gigs including Mary Coughlan, Ronnie Greer, Pat McManus, and the Nigel Mooney Organ Trio to local and upcoming talent that will have toes-tapping and smiles for miles such as Cup o’Joe, The Bear Necessities and Kick the Bucket, the event also includes many free gigs across the city, ensuring that everyone can join the fun.
In addition, for the first time this year, music fans from right across Belfast and beyond will also be able to enjoy the 7 Hills Blues Fest by taking advantage of the new tourist-friendly Belfast-Armagh Shuttle Bus which departs the Belfast Welcome Centre opposite City Hall at 10am on Friday and Saturday .
Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Catherine Seeley, said: “Armagh’s fifth 7 Hills Blues Fest promises to deliver another world-class showcase of international talent to delight music fans from across Northern Ireland and further afield.
“Armagh’s unique combination of great music, great food and an unrivalled welcome ensures that anyone who comes to visit our city during the Blues Fest is in for a fantastic, fun-packed time.”
The renowned harmonious blend of blues, jazz and roots music continues to entice thousands of fans to travel from across Ireland, the UK and elsewhere who come to the city to experience the thrilling live sounds generated by some of the best international acts in the world joining forces in the line-up with successful and well-known local acts.
For the next generation of budding Blues artists, Armagh’s 7 Hills Blues Fest will also play host to a wide range of fantastic free events for families on the hunt for more outdoor summer fun to combine with the entertainment on offer.
This includes the Bluez 4 Kidz workshop hosted by the sensational Crow Katz, a Picnic in the Palace and a huge family fun day at The Shambles Yard which will involve food from the city’s popular restaurants, fun and games for the whole family and music from Dani and Four Shuck Men.
After last year’s record success, it is advised that everyone books tickets early.
Cllr. Seeley added: “With over 50 bands and more than 50 free gigs, including some fantastic fringe events, picnics and workshops for the kids, it will be difficult to choose your favourite event – whether you’re a seasoned blues fan or simply looking to enjoy the great atmosphere that live music offers and that all ages can appreciate, there’s really no excuse not to get stuck in.”
Visitors who would like to shop while they bop can also find a shopping experience with a difference at the Shambles Market, The Mall Shopping Centre, and Market Square, all of which will feature performances and events throughout the Festival.
For more information visit www.armagh.co.uk/7hills follow 7 Hills Blues Fest on Facebook or call the Armagh Tourist Information Centre for more details 028 3752 1800.
Earlier this month, Armagh was awarded official ‘purple flag’ status, recognising it as a vibrant, well-managed, welcoming and diverse city to visit during the evening.
Purple Flag is recognised across the UK and Ireland as the ‘gold standard’ accreditation scheme for raising city and town centre standards and is widely sought after.